Year of You
By Elizabeth Carruthers, RN MSN CNOR CBN CHHC
For many people, January 1st is the date most associated with personal change and renewal. Sadly, most of these resolutions fall by the wayside within a week. There is no need to wait for some particular date or time to begin making the lifestyle changes that will lead to creating your best year ever. In fact, starting today, make these next 365 days the “Year of You"!
How do you begin designing your “Year of You”? Begin by focusing on these four areas…
1. Uncover Your Personal Goals. In order to reach your destination, you have to be sure you know where you’re going. Take the time to look at your life, assess what things are working and what is not, and create some personal goals that will move you towards the life you truly wish to live.
It isn’t enough to say, “I want to lose weight”. Be specific for example, “I will get off my hypertension medications"or “I will walk my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day without using a cane”. Formulate specific goals that already have built-in inspiration to keep you moving forward.
2. Discover Food vs. Nutrition: Food is the “stuff” we put into our mouths. Nutrition is the nutrient-dense substances that actually build and support our bodies and minds. It is very important to learn the difference between the two and to actively seek to nourish your body at all meals.
Focus on the best quality proteins, vegetables, and fruits you can get. Minimize highly processed, chemical-laden “stuff” that actually robs the body of nutrients. Be mindful of your intake of breads, pastas, and other empty carbohydrates which are frequently full of refined sugars and genetically-modified ingredients. Make it a habit to eat more food that is not packaged.
3. Reinvent Movement. Some people consider exercise to be a hateful word denoting boredom and pain. Consider the word movement instead. Movement just means putting your body into motion, any motion, which will burn calories, build strength, and improve flexibility.
Move at home… build your stamina to make daily trips to the mailbox, make it your job to walk Fido, or put away the laundry piece by piece. Move at work… take a walk around your building at lunch, take the stairs, or do yoga stretches at your desk. Move around town… park farther from the store, use a basket to carry your groceries, or bike to your friend’s house. These all count as movement! Get creative in finding ways to get moving on a daily basis.
4. Cultivate Positivity. The days of hiding in the back of the room are over. To take ultimate advantage of the “Year of You”, dream big dreams and say yes to all of your possibilities. Step up, open your eyes and heart, and take a leap of faith. Look at the possibilities, rather than the obstacles, around you. Fear, self-doubt, and worry will only hold you back. Try! Explore! Learn! Expand your horizons and experiment with new ways of thinking, moving, and being. Let the world be your oyster and keep an eye out for all the pearls!
Explore these four areas and do the physical/mental work to create the habits that lead to improvements in your health and wellness. These positive changes will go far to making these next 365 days a truly great year.
But… what happens on day 366? Only you can answer that question…but if you’re committed to making these new habits and ways of seeing the world part of your daily life, you can easily turn one great year into an awesome life of many, many great “Years of You”!